Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common STDs, and is especially common among sexually active teens and young adults. It is estimated that over one million people in the United States alone are infected. In 2006, there were 1,422 chlamydia cases reported in Wyoming. If left untreated, chlamydia can cause serious reproductive problems, and is also a leading cause of blindness. Chlamydia can put a person at greater risk of contracting the HIV virus.
The most effective way to prevent a chlamydia infection is to abstain from sex or have sex only with someone you know has tested negative. Condoms can provide protection, but spermicidal foams, creams and jellies - or condoms coated with spermicide - should be used with sparingly and with caution, as they can cause microscopic abrasions that make it easier to contract an STD.
Symptoms: Chlamydia ˆ Back To Top
Most people who have chlamydia do not know it as the disease often has no symptoms. If symptoms do occur, it is usually within the first three weeks of exposure. Women may have unusual vaginal discharge, burning during urination, lower abdominal and / or lower back pain, abnormal bleeding or pain during sex. Men may experience pain during urination, discharge from the penis, itching around the opening of the penis, rectal bleeding, or pain and swelling of the testicles.
Treatment: Chlamydia ˆ Back To Top
Fortunately, chlamydia is treatable with antibiotics once it is detected. However, it is possible to become infected again if re-exposed to the bacteria, so safe sexual health practices should be followed even after the initial infection has cleared up.